Most web sites we access on the internet are built using open source software, like WordPress, Linux, Mysql and PHP. In addition to public web services, enterprises have many other computer systems they create in-house or buy from a software vendor. A survey highlights the key motives why enterprises have or are planning to adopt open source technologies, and it also discovered the factors that are slowing down open source software adoption.
Openlogic conducted a survey among enterprises of all sizes across the world in late 2021 and early 2022. The results are published in a report The 2022 State of Open Source Report – Open Source Usage, Market Trends, and Analysis. 2660 developers, managers, engineers and C-level executives responded to the survey, providing a solid picture on the status and near-term future of open source software in small, medium-size and large businesses.
Here is the key finding of the survey: Over 77% of companies had increased use of open source software in their organizations. 36% said that they have significantly increased the use of open source. Only 1.6% of businesses told that they have scaled down open source initiatives.
The survey indicates that the future looks bright for open source software in the business world. Open source movement has momentum. What is the motivation for businesses to adopt open source, and on the other hand, what are the factors that may prevent its adoption? Let’s dive into the survey results.
Why businesses are using open source? The key reasons are different between North America and Europe, but the top drivers are:
- Lower cost
- Rapid access to innovation and new technologies
- Multiple alternatives for solutions
- Avoiding vendor lock-in.
Open source software has had momentum in Europe, at least, already for years as, for instance, public administration in some cities and provinces have migrated to open source products. Although businesses still worry about potential licensing issues, open source is growing and expanding to businesses.
Which factors in open source software are causing headache for businesses? These are the top reasons:
- Installation, upgrades, and configuration issues
- Personnel experience and proficiency
- Keeping up with updates and patches
- Integration and infrastructure challenges
There is, however, one factor that seems to be a consistent problem for enterprises: lack of employees who have skills and experience with open source software. This kind of problem takes time to resolve. Installation, configuration and update issues also indicate that finding personnel has been and continues to be a problem.
Open source products used by enterprises
Servers running on Linux operating system tend to be common open source products in all kinds of organizations, but which distribution is favored by businesses? Debian is the trusted name in operating systems because it powers more than half of enterprise servers accroding to the report: Ubuntu has 35.5% market share and Debian 21.4%. CentOS, Red Hat and OpenSuse complement the top 5.
The majority of businesses use Mysql/Mariadb as their open source database. PostgreSQL and MongoDB also have meaningful market shares.
Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning applications are being developed in all industries, among big and small corporations, but at the moment, it is safe to assume that only large corporations have resources to really invest in AI applications. Open source tools are available for creating AI applications, but at the early stages of an emerging market, no one has been able to capture major market share. Scikit-Learn, Keras, and PyTorch are three most popular open source AI products at the moment.